Parents are giving their children Calpol unnecessarily as the medicine should only be used when sick kids are extremely distressed, a medic says.
In a BBC documentary, Dr Chris van Tulleken investigated why the UK spends £64million a year on the paracetamol-based syrup.
He discovered Calpol is given to children at three times the rate it was 40 years ago. Many parents give their children Calpol to ease mild fevers, even though guidelines say high temperatures are not dangerous and are the body’s way of fighting an infection.
Dr Damian Rowland, of Leicester Royal Infirmary, confirmed Calpol should only be given as a painkiller if a child is distressed.
However, the medicine – which has been linked to liver problems and asthma – is marketed as a way of fighting fevers, blocked noses and coughs.
Dr Chris – who also fronts CBBC’s health show Operation Ouch! – said: “It makes me feel very angry. It’s not necessary in most of the instances they’re talking about. We need to get the facts out there.”
Dr Chris’s own GP, Dr Marlow, tells him: “We have children almost addicted to paracetamol, to Calpol.
“Not the drug itself, but the process. Some describe it as ‘the heroin of childhood’.”
Calpol manufacturer Johnson & Johnson said: “We strongly refute any suggestion that the information we provide to parents is inadequate.”
Source : Chroniclelive